CINCINNATI -- The Eagles' first-team defense had a lot of the same characteristics as the 2009 version on Friday night, as they surrendered over 200 yards of total offense in the first half but allowed only seven points on the heels of two interceptions. Last year, the Eagles forced 38 takeaways, the third best total in the league.
"You're going to have good plays, you're going to have bad plays, but the mark of a good defense is a team that – no matter what – you come back on the next play," said safety Quintin Mikell, who made a sprawling interception in the second quarter. "Anytime you get turnovers and big plays, that's what it's about on defense. No doubt about it, man. That's a good offense, they've got some good receivers and I think we had a pretty good game. We had a couple picks and made some plays. They had one play on us but we came back. So, that's what we want to see at this point in the year."
"Ideally you want to hold them to zero points. But, at the end of the day we just want to see us flying around, making plays on the ball, getting turnovers and getting big plays. And that's what we're about."
In the absence of cornerback Asante Samuel, cornerback Dimitri Patterson continued his push for increased playing time and was involved in both interceptions. In the first quarter, rookie free safety Nate Allen blitzed off the left edge and forced a quick throw from Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, who tossed it in the direction of Terrell Owens. Patterson stepped in front and picked off the pass at the Eagles' 31-yard-line and returned it 15 yards.
Then, after allowing the lone touchdown of the half on an 6-yard Bernard Scott run set up by a 43-yard bomb down the right sideline to Owens, the Eagles created another turnover on the next Bengals possession. In another bend-but-don't-break series, Patterson and middle linebacker Stewart Bradley sandwiched Chad Ochocinco with a fury, popping the ball loose into the air where it was snagged by a diving Mikell on what was the eighth play of the Bengals' drive.
Overall, it was a solid performance for the defense against an offense that features Owens, Ochocinco and running back Cedric Benson. Next week, when they'll be seeing even more of the field, the defense will take on the Kansas City Chiefs and will expect to perform even better against an offense that finished in the bottom third of the league in 2009.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 10:41 p.m., August 20